Plugged In

I was out-of-town last week for a fishing trip with my father, brother and best friend.  We had a great time, ate a lot of good food and caught several fish.  I learned a valuable lesson on the trip as well – I can survive without being plugged in.

The second day we fished it rained on us.  I’m not talking about a light sprinkle the rain would best be described as a squall.  Think driving rain and 40 mile per hour winds.  We were never in any danger but the conditions were less than favorable.  After trying to fish in the wind for about 30 minutes we finally cried uncle and ended the fishing trip.  After we returned to the dock I made my way to our room at the lodge only to find that my waterproof rain suit really wasn’t.  I was completely soaked between my belly button and my knees. 

It wasn’t such a big deal to get wet because I had a dry change of clothes but my iPhone was in my pants pocket.  I forgot to charge it the night before so I wasn’t too alarmed when it wouldn’t come on but after I plugged it in and nothing happened I began to worry.  I anxiously let the phone charge for about 30 minutes before I had the nerve to try to turn it on again.  I pushed the button but still nothing happened.

My brother suggested that I put the phone in a bag of rice to help draw out the moisture and I was willing to try anything.  After being submerged in rice for more than 24 hours I tried the phone again and had the same result…nothing.

I don’t live on my phone but I like to stay connected and to be honest I got a little anxious when I knew it wasn’t going to be revived.  My wife could get ahold of me through my father or brother so I wasn’t worried about not hearing from her in the event of an emergency but how would the hospital get a hold of me.  The thought of the hospital not being able to reach me is an indication of my misplaced paranoia.  I mean because really, what would I do if they had needed me for something other than to say “sorry I’m out-of-town but I will be back in the office on Tuesday”.  There are very competent people all around me and I trust every one of them to make a decision so I’m not real sure what they need me for at all but that’s probably a blog for another day…

I was also very anxious about not being able to check and respond to my work email.  Not because anything couldn’t wait but because I thought I couldn’t wait.  I like to stay tuned into what’s going on in the office when I’m away, again signs of paranoia – the place is going to stay open whether I’m here or not.  I also hate coming back to a full inbox so I prefer to follow-up as I can while out of the office.

The loss of the phone taught me a valuable lesson – I don’t need to be as plugged in as I think I do and I should take more time to appreciate the people I’m with as opposed to those I’m connected to electronically.  The person you can touch deserves more attention that the person you can text.

I’d challenge you to turn your phone off and set it aside for one full day.  No text, no internet, no email, no calls.  I promise it will be uncomfortable for some of you.

I ended up getting a new phone and the only thing I lost were a few pictures so I’ll back up more often.  When my email began working I had 1,035 emails in my inbox,  if I haven’t yet responded to yours, please keep in mind that I’m just getting plugged back in!

About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Executive Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. At GVMH we care for our families, friends and neighbors. We're committed to providing the safest, friendliest and most compassionate care to all we serve.
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1 Response to Plugged In

  1. Randy S. Johnson says:

    Rick Petino spoke at the FFA national convention in Lousville this week. He shared similar views regarding our electronic addiction. I was impressed with the man.

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